© Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a virtual global climate summit in Moscow
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden could meet in June, the RIA news agency reported on Sunday, citing a Kremlin aide, amid simmering tensions between Moscow and the West. Foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said a firm decision on the meeting has yet to be made. “We will make a decision based on many factors,” Ushakov, Russia’s ambassador to the United States from 1998 to 2008, was quoted as saying. Separately, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, quoted by RIA, said on Sunday that Biden’s proposal for the summit has been received “positively” and is now under consideration. Earlier this month, Biden called on Putin to reduce tensions sparked by a Russian military build-up on the Ukraine border and proposed a summit to address a number of disputes. The Kremlin said at the time that a summit would depend on the behavior of the United States, and reportedly told Washington to scrap a plan to impose new sanctions on Russia. Ties between Russia and the United States fell to a new post-Cold War low last month after Biden agreed when asked in an interview if he thought Putin was a “murderer” and Moscow called its ambassador in Washington to queries. Despite protests from Moscow, the United States this month imposed a series of new sanctions against Russia for alleged interference in the 2020 US elections, hacking, intimidation of Ukraine and other acts it deemed evil. Putin participated in a virtual climate summit hosted by Biden last week.